Mine Tub – Skelton Primary School

Mine tubs are popular with local councils for flower arangements and art installations, however most are modern interpretations that use a lot of artistic license.

This one looks much more like the real thing and could well have some original parts.

Ironstone Tub, Skelton Primary School Ironstone Tub, Skelton Primary School  

I’ve tried to contact the school for any details of its history, but they are yet to respond. I’m hoping it has some link to the nearby Longacres mine.

Skelton Green – Miners Accident Hospital

Anyone who has read the “Cleveland Mining Incidents” series of books will know the injuries sustained underground could be horrific.

Miners Hospital, Skelton Green Miners Hospital, Skelton Green

Bulmers directory of 1890 list the following staff
Miners’ Hospital – Messrs. Merryweather & Dunn, medical officers

Kellys directory of 1909 lists the following staff

Skelton Cottage Miners Hospital – John Thorner. LRCP Edin, Surgeon.
Skelton Cottage Miners Hospital – Frederick P Wigfield MB, Surgeon.
Skelton Cottage Miners Hospital – Miss Clara Baldwin, Matron.
The hospital built in 1883 is now a private residence.

Spring Head, Sternes Well, Skelton

This little gem is hidden away in nettles at the top of Lawns Gill, the spring was the water supply for Skelton Castle. Old OS maps call it Spring Head.

Spring Head, Sternes Well, Skelton 

The inscription reads :-

Leap from thy cavern’d mossy bed,
Hither thy prattling waters bring
Blandusia’s Muse shall crown thy head
And make thee too a sacred spring

Spring Head, Sternes Well, Skelton 

Some attribute the words to John Hall Stevenson eccentric playboy owner of Skelton Castle, it is said the “Crazy Castle” in his “Crazy Tales” is Skelton. The are numerous tales of his exploits such as not getting out of bed when the wind was blowing from the east and racing roman chariots on Saltburn beach. His group of friends knows as the “Demoniacs” sounds like an interesting bunch with names such as Rev. “Panty” Lascelles and Zachary Moore

Other attribute the words directly to Stevensons friend and fellow “Demoniac” Laurence Sterne, author of Tristram Shandy in the 1760s. There are other Sterne links as just to the North East of Skelton Castle are areas known as Sterne’s Seat and Mount Shandy.

“Blandusia” is a corruption of Bandusia which was an ancient Roman spring


Skelton Shaft Ironstone Mine

Apart from the very obvious Guibal Fanhouse closer investigation of the site reveals some more details.

Skelton Shaft, Culvert

Running due east from the fanhouse is a culvert with a metal pipe inside, it runs for nearly 200 feet and remains of a building can be seen on the surface where it ends.

Skelton Shaft, Chimney Base Skelton Shaft, Chimney Base

Further east again in the undergrowth appears to be the base of a chimney (or the base of a privvy depending on your personal interpretation)

Skelton Shaft, Engine Base

Slightly to the north of that a stone engine base can also be found hidden in the undergrowth.

North Skelton Ironstone Mine

North Skelton mine hold a number of records. It was the last ironstone mine in Cleveland to close, having operated from the early 1870s until the 17th January 1964. It was the deepest mine in Cleveland with a 770ft shaft. It was the last in Cleveland to use a regularly use a steam winder, right up until 1951 (although Lingdale did keep one in working order as a backup until closure in 1962)
Little remains today as the site is within the current premises of Tees Components who very kindly allowed our small group to photograph the remaining buildings.

The winding house with its 1871 date stone and small door in the wall for winding ropes is the most substantial original structure.
North Skelton Ironstone Mine North Skelton Ironstone Mine
North Skelton Ironstone Mine North Skelton Ironstone Mine

North Skelton Ironstone Mine North Skelton Ironstone Mine

Other original buildings remain, although they have been modified for other uses.
North Skelton Ironstone Mine

Outside the site is a small headframe, although the real thing was very different as can be seen against the winding house
North Skelton Ironstone Mine Monument  key29x.jpg

Skelton Park Ironstone Mine

Skelton Park is the most complete set of ironstone mining buildings left in Cleveland, the mine was operated by Bell Brothers between 1872 and 1923, then Dorman Long through to 1938.
Skelton Park Site

The most substantial building on site is the Main Winding House, dated 1872. This housed a steam winding engine which wound cages in the adjacent 384ft deep downcast shaft. The roof of this building was intact until late 1994 when it finally succumbed to the elements.

Skelton Park Main Winding House  Skelton Park, Main Winding House and Downcast Shaft

Skelton Park Main Winding House Skelton Park Main Winding House

The largely intact Power House originally housed an air compressor for drilling and haulage, attached to this are a small ambulance room and time office.

Skelton Park, Power House Skelton Park, Power House

The impressive Schiele fanhouse building also houses the 378ft deep upcast shaft. The different coloured 8ft of bricks at the top of shaft date from its conversion to also be winding shaft as well as ventilation.

Skelton Park, Fanhouse and Shaft Skelton Park, Fan House and Upcast Shaft

Skelton Park, Fanhouse and Upcast Shaft Skelton Park, Upcast Shaft

Next to the fanhouse is a Secondary Winding House, its construction suggest it was modified for hauling in the upcast shaft and may originally have been used during construction of the downcast shaft which can be seen from the window.

Skelton Park, Secondary Winding House Skelton Park, Downcast Shaft

Numerous other ranges of mine buildings still exist, such as a saddlers shop and Provinder House used for preparation of feed for the horses.

Skelton Park, Saddlers Shop and Provender House 

Also a Blacksmiths and Joiners workshops.

Skelton Park, Blacksmiths Shop and Joiners Shop  

A substation from the electrification of the site in 1909 is shown below, the base of a chimney, weighbridge, boiler pump house, horse gins and a couple of powder magazines are also hidden away within the site. 

Skelton Park, Substation Skelton Park, Bell Brothers Brick

Please note that the mine site is on private land and the mine managers house approached from Skelton Ellers has been converted into a private residence so should not be visited. That said the path from Back Lane in Skelton is heavily used by dog walkers. A detailed survey of the site can be found in the excellent “Skelton Park Ironstone Mine” by Simon Chapman.

Skelton Park Site 



South Skelton Ironstone Mine

The most prominant building on site is the square compressor & haulage engine house.

 South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

The attached upcast winding house is situated adjacent to the capped shaft (216 feet deep – capped c.1985), a guide roller can still be seen in the slot through which the cables travelled. 

South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

The wooden stable blocks and unique for the area, and its pretty amazing they havn’t been demolished or burnt down when you see the general state of the site and people who hang around there.

South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

Numerous other buildings can be seen around the site, which is remarkably complete.

South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

South Skelton Ironstone Mine South Skelton Ironstone Mine

(note the weather wasn’t wildly changable that day, the photos are taken about sixth months apart)

Ironstone Drift in Saltburn Woods

The entrance can be easily located by crossing the stepping stones near the old mill and travelling towards the viaduct on the south bank
Saltburn Woods Ironstone Drift
The brickwork around the entrance is under attack from the trees
Saltburn Woods Ironstone Drift
Saltburn Woods Ironstone Drift
Inside the tunnel is in good condition, although muddy. The dark red line on the side suggests it may have been deeply flooded at some point in the past.
Saltburn Woods Ironstone Drift
In the stream outside there is a row of bricks with some discoloured water leaking out, perhaps some sort of drain from the drift.
Saltburn Woods Ironstone Drift Water Outfall
This drift is a failed drainage level for Longacres mines.